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Funny how the Job Creator myth, has gained such currency, as a time-honored principle of Capitalism.

The Job Creators will rehire, just give them time -- Business is Cyclical, you know.


Well maybe, just maybe, this "boom-bust" cycle is different ...


Crisis: Jobs shortage

Editorial -- Charleston Gazette -- Dec 2, 2011

Even before the Great Recession hit in 2007, America was suffering an erosion of employment, as millions of U.S. jobs were sent overseas and high-tech advances enabled corporations to downsize. Business Week  calls 1999-2009 "The Lost Decade for Jobs."
[...]

Columbia University sociologist Herbert Gans says modern capitalism has learned how "to eliminate as many jobs as it creates -- or more jobs than it creates." It does so through "continued outsourcing of jobs to low-wage countries" and by "continuing computerization and mechanization of manufacturing and of services not requiring hands-on human contact."
[...]

In olden times, when new technology threw multitudes out of work, he says, many cast-off people soon died of poverty diseases, or went to colonies, or were put into armies as cannon fodder. But those times have faded, and now America is left with a massive segment of idled people. Dr. Gans warned:

"A society that has permanently expelled a significant proportion of its members from the work force would soon deteriorate into an unbelievably angry country, with intense and continuing conflict between the have-jobs and the have-nones. America could become a very sick society."


Could become a sick society -- has anybody been reading the unemployment news for that last several years?  Hello!



First off, there has been the systematic erosion of our blue-collar manufacturing base ...

Times change, displaced people should just "get retraining" ... or so we were told. It'll be alright.


U.S. manufacturing up against an uneven playing field globally
by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, Chicago Sun-Times -- Dec 3, 2011

The last 10 years were indeed a “lost decadefor manufacturing employment in the Chicago region, as the Sun-Times reported last Sunday. But as the Sun-Times also noted, the country as a whole fared no better, shedding one-third of all factory jobs.

A national crisis demands a national response. Washington should not leave the states to fight among themselves for a slice of an ever-shrinking pie.


Even high-tech white-collar jobs were not immune from that foreign-cost-reduction bug, otherwise known as outsourcing.

It's just going around, and you never know what Capital Enterprise that "bug" is going to strike next:

Outsourcing Giant Finds It Must Be Client, Too
by Vikas Bajaj, NYTimes, India -- Nov 30, 2011

[...]
India is known the world over as a prime innovator of outsourcing for foreign companies, which take advantage of its cheap, English-speaking labor force. Less well known is the extent to which Indian companies outsource their own jobs within their own country.

Walk into any of India’s shining new shopping malls that sell expensive brands, like Gucci and Satya Paul, and many of the store clerks, janitors and security guards will be on the payrolls of outsourcing companies, not those of the owners of the mall or stores in it, executives say.

The practice highlights a fundamental tension between India’s socialist past and a new freewheeling, private sector that is increasingly powering the economy while chafing at what many companies say are laws so protective of workers that they blunt hiring and stifle growth.

That capacity for capital growth -- MUST be fed ... or so we have all been told.


And when "structural change" comes to an economy, spurred on by innovation, invention, and the desire to make a serious profit -- sometimes the old ways of making a living, sometimes they just get left behind, in the dust-bins of history.

Afterall, there's not a call for horse-drawn carriages anymore these days ... which is a real shame, when you stop to think about it.  

Progress always moves on -- and so should we ... or so conventional wisdom tells us.  Autos they're the wave of the future -- your life will never be the same ...  Trust us.


Andrew McAfee's Blog

[...]
"We’re entering unknown territory in the quest to reduce labor costs. The AI revolution [Artificial Intelligence] is doing to white collar jobs what robotics did to blue collar jobs. Race Against the Machine is a bold effort to make sense of the future of work.  No one else is doing serious thinking about a force that will lead to a restructuring of the economy that is more profound and far-reaching than the transition from the agricultural to the industrial age."
-- Tim O’Reilly -- review of Race Against the Machine


Erik Brynjolfsson and I [Andrew McAfee] have just published our new book Race Against the Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy. It’s an ebook available for sale at Amazon (other ebook formats coming soon).
[...]

"Race Against the Machine is a portrait of the digital world -- a world where competition, labor and leadership are less important than collaboration, creativity and networks."
-- Nicholas Negroponte -- review of Race Against the Machine


"... and Time marches on" ... (as one of my heroes is rather famous for saying) ...


"They can rebuild him -- they have the tools" ... I bet they can build a better world too, if they ever set their minds to it ...


More Jobs Predicted for Machines, Not People
by Steve Lohr, NYTimes -- Oct 23, 2011

[...]
Yet as the employment picture failed to brighten in the last two years, the two changed course to examine technology’s role in the jobless recovery.

The authors [Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew P. McAfee] are not the only ones recently to point to the job fallout from technology. In the current issue of the McKinsey Quarterly, W. Brian Arthur, an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute, warns that technology is quickly taking over service jobs, following the waves of automation of farm and factory work. “This last repository of jobs is shrinking -- fewer of us in the future may have white-collar business process jobs -- and we have a problem,” Mr. Arthur writes.


"We may have a problem"? ... Aahh, ya think?


When every vestige of our fragile human economy has been quietly surrendered to the unstoppable forces of automation and cost reduction -- even to consume those jobs of business, tech, and service industries -- will anyone ever stop to wonder ...

Why is this no longer working?

Why are so many people being cast aside, as if they were only so much "fodder"?

Left to sink or swim on our own ... left to simply fade away ... as just another unrecognized, unacknowledged cost of progress ...



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Comment Preferences

  •  stranger than fiction (4+ / 0-)


    The Six Million Dollar Man -- TV Intro

    [Embedding disabled by request]


    "Better, Stronger, Faster ..."


    What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
    -- Maslow ...... my list.

    by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 08:48:21 PM PST

  •  Yet another admission that the 1% are not the job (5+ / 0-)

    creators, a big column written be a 1%er saying, yes, raise taxes on the rich back to reasonable levels, because we, all of us, are the real job creators, not just the privileged.

    Nick Hanauer in Business Week

    •  from that link (6+ / 0-)
      I’m a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist [...]

      Even so, I’ve never been a “job creator.” I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

      That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.


      thx James Wells


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:00:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Frank Luntz is a genius (6+ / 0-)

    Not only has he discovered the need to speak as a party and put words into the mouths of proponents, he's also discovered a decided lack of pushback anywhere near as effective or coordinated from the other side.

    "Job creators" caught fire only because Luntz had foresight and no competing message ... until OWS hit the streets. For the first time, he's afraid of a countervailing message: the 1% vs the 99%. It's as ingenuous as his own messaging and the first time he's really faced a tune that drowns his own.

    That Americans sat back and accepted the "job creators" concept as theirs were being shipped overseas was remarkably stunning. Yet, no one opposed it directly until the past few months. What frightens him most, IMHO, is that it was and is superior to his because it overwhelms his series of wordplays in its own simplicity.

    Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

    by MKSinSA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 08:57:35 PM PST

    •  Fairness Doctrine. (4+ / 0-)

      It works in favor of the worm tongues when you destroy it. Keeps people really, really ignorant.


      Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

      by Pluto on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:03:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great sig line. (7+ / 0-)
        Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

        by Pluto on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:03:46 PM PST

        [ Parent | Reply to this ] Recommend Hide

        Right up there with:

        Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

        by MKSinSA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 08:57:35 PM PST

        [ Reply to this ] Recommend Hide

        Snark: well done, a pleasure to the reader.

        You both do it very well.  Thanks.

        Democrats - We represent America!

        by phonegery on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:11:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Pluto - who decides what is "fair"? (0+ / 0-)

        Political speech comes in many shades of gray. Who decides what is "fair"? Government? I was in broadcasting when we had the old Fairness Doctrine and it had a chilling effect on the discussion of politics. I thought we were the party of free speech? Fortunately there is no support in Congress or at the White House to bring back a new FD. It would probably not survive a constitutional challenge in any event.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 10:36:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nobody decides what is fair. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess

          On the public owned airwaves (AM and VHF) -- both sides of issues of national importance to voters are heard and given equal time to inform citizens. The citizens then decide what is fair, in their own minds.

          On privately owned airwaves, lies and misinformation can be pushed with abandonment.

          Of course the Fairness Doctrine is not coming back. That's why Americans will get stupider and stupider. That is why America will collapse.


          Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

          by Pluto on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 03:14:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Luntz (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, Eric Nelson, Egalitare

      is trying to co-opt the OWS, and also defuse it.


      We should make the effort, to not let him:


      We're about to be Luntzed ... Again
      by jamess -- Dec 02, 2011


      thx MKSinSA


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:03:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  another kossack (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess

      argues, in all likelyhood, luntz's alarm is a put on. his posturing of fear conveniently frames peaceful protesters as a dangerous threat and subtly justifies police violence as a reaction.

      The idea of an individual mandate as an alternative to single-payer was a Republican idea. ~ Mark Pauly

      by stolen water on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 10:35:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jobs were never created (6+ / 0-)

    -- across the economy as a whole -- be cutting taxes.

    Indeed, in times of the highest taxes (especially at the top incomes), unemployment was at its lowest.

    More than 90 percent of the income of the 1% is entirely passive. They are creating nothing.


    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

    by Pluto on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:00:51 PM PST

    •  But why is it even necessary to type this? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, MKSinSA

      Don't Americans know the actual mathematical statistics that are available to everyone?


      Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

      by Pluto on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:02:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because we Americans have outsourced (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, Pluto

        the bulk of our curiosity and intellect to the loudest and most memorable voices ... right, wrong or just crazy. (After all, Herman Cain's a mathematician, right?)

        ;-)

        Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

        by MKSinSA on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:10:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Their "passive" wealth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA

      should be taxed.


      Make them prove -- they are actually "American Job Creators"

      to actually catch a "capital" Tax Break.


      thx Pluto, and nope some people, will never learn,

      not when FOX is there only source of information.


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:08:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pluto - do you have a source for that? (0+ / 0-)

      I didn't think that 90%+ of the taxable income of the top 1% was passive, but don't know the facts. Do you have a source for that number?

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 10:38:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you think about it (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess

        ...and the amounts of money we are talking about -- you realize than no one can physically labor out $500 million plus a year. No one can work that hard. Few nations can work that hard.

        However -- of course I have the stats. I always have the stats.

        Indeed, I dairied it.


        Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world. Save the lives of the people. Nationalize the banks.

        by Pluto on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 03:07:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Pluto - thanks (0+ / 0-)

          I think you would have to add partnerships and S corps to the earned income side, or at least part of it. Those are most likely professional organizations where the owners/managers are taking income at the individual rate. Even so the passive number is three quarters. That's a lot.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 07:39:48 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  IMO that last one is the worst for Capitalism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    A machine, when perfectly or near-perfectly replicating a human's abilities at a given task, is almost always more profitable and more productive for that task than even the most skilled human.  

    It seems quite obvious to me, given our insatiable thirst to make more perfect, more easily maintained and more autonomous machines, that the industrial market as a "job-creating" entity is woefully obselete and has been so for decades.

    Great diary, tipped and rec'd

    Wakeful people make better democracy

    by Hammerhand on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:15:48 PM PST

  •  suppose, just for giggles, that we define, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    or redefine, a full time work week as 30 hours. how would this effect employment/unemployment?

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:30:06 PM PST

    •  I like it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      that was the trendline in the prosperous European countries,

      at least until the last Bubble collapse.  (shorter work weeks, for the same pay.)


      They were actually respecting their workers.

      actually letting them live their lives too.


      thx rasbobbo


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:33:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think ultimately though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, nikilibrarian

      people need to return to honing skills,

      for living off the land:


      gardening, farming, livestock, water purification;

      canning, drying, freezing, baling, building,

      bartering, energy-generation, teaching,

      self-taught learning.


      you know, old-fashion human-survival stuff.

      best be prepared, we may need it someday, soon


      What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself.
      -- Maslow ...... my list.

      by jamess on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:39:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  rasbobbo - it sure sounds good (0+ / 0-)

      but it just makes us even less competitive in the global market. It has the impact of increasing labor costs by 25%.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 10:40:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  seems like a fully employed population (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess

        would be beneficial on many levels. obviously if all we want is to be globally competitive labor-wise, all workers should lower their wages & 25-30% unemployment is a great thing.

        & globally competitive to who? the folk at the top? the ones who make 3 or 4 hundred times what the average worker makes? is it really impossible to imagine, again, just for giggles, that they eat that 25% out of their profits?

        Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

        by rasbobbo on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 11:19:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  rasbobbo - every day some company in the US (0+ / 0-)

          is making a decision about where to add capacity to serve new markets. Labor costs are just one of many variables that are used to make those decisions. The problem for the US is that our competitive advantages keep shrinking, making the US an unattractive place to grow jobs, particularly to serve more rapidly growing foreign markets. The US market was so big, and so dominant, that we never had to focus on our international competitiveness. What we need is a thoughtful national industrial policy, and while it would be twenty years late, we should get started. Such a review would examine all of our tax, labor, environmental, and regulatory structures with the goal of creating long term high wage jobs. Currently each of these is done in a silo, with no concern for our competitiveness.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 07:52:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Answers Are All In the History Books (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    introduced by "the" Democratic Party and fought hand and fist by the conservatives.

    Sucks that both parties today are conservative.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 09:47:09 PM PST

  •  Dude, the 1% are the JOB destroyers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Tnr

    FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Sat Dec 03, 2011 at 10:24:02 PM PST

  •  Nice work jamess. What do you think of.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, MKSinSA

    .."reassessing" or "clarifying"  - okay i'z just playin Cain

    But seriously instead of us using Luntz's Job "Creators"- which is one of his masterstrokes of propaganda, we hammer home a new and true label:

     Job "liquidators"

    It just might catch on. similar sounding, it rhymes with creators -  'ators' - so there's already an association in how it rolls off the tongue [?]

    Plus too, It is actually what Romney does/did for 20 - 30 years. Gingrich "works" for job liquidators. Anyway, just a thought.

    Remember Frank Zappa recording his teenage daughter & friends and how 'valley girl speak took off across the world and became part of the vernacular - 'like ya-know, oh-wow', omg!

  •  Bigfoot, Nessie...."Tax Cut Job Creators." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, Egalitare

    Many heave sought, none have found.

    "I never heard a corpse ask how it got so cold." - Richard, The Lion in Winter

    by divitius on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 05:09:46 AM PST

  •  I got "retraining" in the 1990's- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    I went back to college for a degree in Social Work (hard to export THAT job.) At the same time, my wife began to show signs of illness, and was unable to work steadily. I am now 64, and on Social Security after several heart attacks, and I owe over $20,000 in student loans. At 9% interest.

    Workers in the USA are nothing but votes to the politicians and cash cows to the corporations. Time for us "small people" to get rid of all of them.

    mark

    Retired AFSCME Steward and licensed gun carrying progressive veteran.

    by old mark on Sun Dec 04, 2011 at 05:09:48 AM PST

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